Today, I had the opportunity to speak with Michael and Kathy, the latest team to be eliminated from The Amazing Race 3. Michael & Kathy had a long-distance relationship, but had never spent more than a few days together prior to participating in the race. A gas-station mistake ultimately led to their elimination. Here's a transcript of our interview:
FORT: When you decided to get the hotel room for the night, had you pretty much given up at that point?
Michael: We tried everything to get our truck going, but we couldn't get anything arranged until 9am the next day. So we pretty much resigned ourselves to being last. If we'd have known it was the gas, we may have tried something different, like draining the tank.
FORT: Did you ever find out the reason for the truck breaking down? Kathy must have handled it well, we didn't see it on camera.
Michael: The next day at the dealership, they told us.
Kathy: I couldn't say anything. Michael kept apologizing, and I never in a million years would have thought it was a gasoline problem. Neither of us saw the little sticker, and it never even crossed our minds.
FORT: Do you regret not taking some of the more challenging roadblocks?
Michael: The only thing we really didn't do was the skydiving. Kathy wanted to skydive, but I wasn't going to do it. The only others were biking and the wave runners, and those are no big deal.
FORT: Michael, why did you choose to swim with dolphins, even though you're not a strong swimmer?
Michael: It wasn't a big deal. All I had to do was take my shirt off, but Kathy would have had to change into her swimsuit.
Kathy: He didn't drown, so we're happy.
FORT: What were the teams told about Heather & Eve's elimination?
Kathy: Actually, we thought we were last coming into the pitstop because my legs had given out. So we were extremely surprised when Aaron & Arianne came in behind us. But we didn't see them for quite a while, and when the four of them came out to the group, I could see it immediately in Heather & Eve's eyes.
Michael: When we heard that Heather & Eve had come in first, we knew something was wrong immediately.
FORT: Did you just have bad luck with taxis, or was the language a problem?
Michael: In Scotland, we asked the lady to just keep up with the other taxis, and she refused. She didn't want to drive that fast. So that's how we got lost. In Portugal, we just picked a driver who didn't know where he was going. That was just bad luck.
FORT: What was the cause of the "anti-Twin" sentiment, and do you think it affected your game?
Michael: We didn't really know them, because we were always in a different "pack" than them, so it was because they were the young alpha-males, but it was kind of a joke, like "get the Twins!" Later on, we had dinner with them and Ken &Gerard at a pitstop, and got to know them pretty well. We liked them, and they were great guys.
FORT: Kathy, did you move to California yet? How is the relationship post-show?
Kathy: I moved to California right after the show wrapped. It's so much nicer, because before, we had to coordinate planes and stuff, and now we live just a couple of blocks apart. It's much better. Our relationship is going well...I'm looking at Michael, and see he's nodding.
FORT: What one piece of advice would you give to would-be contestants?
Michael: Save your energy. Don't run unless it's for elimination, because you never know when you'll need the strength.
Kathy: Run whenever you can, because you never know when it'll save you. But I see Michael's point, because when it matters, your legs might not be there, like mine.
FORT: Thank you. I just wanted to say, from our users, that you were a fan-favorite. You showed us a good relationship under pressure without too much bickering, and Michael, you're about the most laid-back person we've ever seen on this show.
Kathy: Thanks. Don't you just want to almost fall asleep when you watch Michael? It's good for keeping us calm under pressure, though.
My thanks to Michael and Kathy, CBS, and the Amazing Race production team. We here at the FORT wish the best of luck to M&K in their relationship, after the spotlight fades a little.